- Will this be the first row of the Gord-Dave era?
Reproduced above is the start of the main political story in today’s Observer and looks set to be the first Labour-Tory battle ground for Brown’s arrival at Number 10.
With both new leaders jostling to assert themselves this could be very dangerous territory. For, according to the report, one of the big ideas outlined from Brown last weekend was part of a package of suggestions put by the Tories in confidential discussions between Blair and Cameron on the best ways of dealing with the terrorist threat.
Clearly establishing what went on is difficult but the paper notes that “…an embarrassed Blair instructed senior officials to convey his regrets to Cameron after sympathising with Tory complaints that Brown’s intervention had at least given the impression that the terms of the Cameron/Blair meeting, held on private privy council terms, had been breached.”
This tells us two things about the ending of the phoney political period that has gone on since Cameron became Tory leader: Brown will be ruthless in pursuing a strategy of policy triangulation to leave the Tories with little to talk about and that Blair is not going out of his way to be helpful to his successor.
For that Blair “apology”, if that is what it is, could give the Tories ammunition for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, on the betting markets, the price on whether Labour or the Tories will end up with most seats at the election has continued to converge. The Tories have eased to 0.81/1 while Labour have tightened to 1.18/1. In the aftermath of the May elections Labour was at 1.58/1.